Grahame N's Web Pages
"WHAT THE STARS
SHORT FILM SERIES
ON 9.5MM SOUND
by Grahame L. Newnham
actual 9.5mm film frames
WHAT THE STARS FORETELL - GB 1933 - each 1
- A series of twelve short films - each covering a sign of the zodiac
Narrator: R.H. Naylor
Producer: Widgey Newman
Supervised by: R.H. Naylor (astrologer of "The Sunday Express")
Photography: John Miller
Production and Release by: Betta Films Ltd, National House, London
The characteristics and fortunes of those born under a star sign are examined and general predictions for their future are made. The films usually open and close with a scene where a newspaper editor (Mr Claude Bailey) and his secretary (Miss Joyce) discuss Naylor and his forecasts. At the end of each issue, a closing title advertises the upcoming chapter in the series. It reads "Were you born between [dates of the following star sign]? If so see the next WHAT THE STARS FORETELL at this theatre!"
"What the Stars Foretell - Taurus" - (No.1) GB 1933 (21st April to 21st May) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in May 1938 as T.9404
"What the Stars Foretell - Gemini" - (No.2) GB 1933 (22nd May to 21st June) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in June 1938 as T.9405
"What the Stars Foretell - Cancer" - (No.3) GB 1933 (22nd June to 23rd July) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in July 1939 as T.9406
"What the Stars Foretell - Leo" - (No.4) GB 1933 (24th July to 23rd August) Issued on 9.5m by Pathéscope in August 1938 as T.9407 This reel includes a short appearance by R.H. Naylor who speaks a few lines
"What the Stars Foretell - Virgo" - (No.5) GB 1933 (24th August to 23rd September) Issued on 9.5m by Pathéscope in September 1938 as T.9408 The "Virgo" film opens with R.H. Naylor himself talking to editor Claude Bailey, who he asks to go to Paris to do a broadcast. Naylor explains that there are two types of Virgo - "The very virginal and the not so virginal"! Once in Paris, after a French introduction, we get this month's predictions including scenes of nuns (women often devote their lives to the service of others) and men gazing longingly at another drinking beer (avoid envy), we are encouraged to spend to help industry, whilst the gentleman spends a penny in a weighing machine.
"What the Stars Foretell - Libra" - (No.6) GB 1933 (24th September to 23rd October) Issued on 9.5m by Pathéscope in October 1938 as T.9409
"What the Stars Foretell - Scorpio" - (No.7) GB 1933 (24th October to 22nd November) Issued on 9.5m by Pathéscope in November 1938 as T.9410
"What the Stars Foretell - Sagittarious" - (No.8) GB 1933 (23rd November to 21st December) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in December 1938 as T.9411
"What the Stars Foretell - Capricorn" - (No.9) GB 1933 (22nd December to 20th January) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in January 1939 as T.9400
"What the Stars Foretell - Aquarius" - (No.10) GB 1933 (21st January to 19th February) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in February 1939 as T.9401
"What the Stars Foretell - Pisces" - (No.11) GB 1933 (20th February to 20th March) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in February 1939 as T.9402 The reel opens with a group of young ladies gathered around a gramophone. One of them, Marjorie, plays a record containing Naylor's predictions for Pisces. At the end, Miss Joyce enters the room. When asked about Naylor, she describes him as a "pain in the neck" and adds that she has been reading his notes for Aries. Her final comment is "If anybody wants to know more, you can go to your local cinema - but don't blame me".
"What the Stars Foretell - Aries" - (No.12) GB 1933 (21st March to 20th April) Issued on 9.5mm by Pathéscope in April 1939 as T.9403
Pathéscope 9.5mm Film Catalogue - 1940 (first edition)
(spot the Pathéscope editor's 'typo'!)
Actual 9.5mm film frames from T.9401 "What the Stars Foretell - Aquarius" A bit risqué for a Pathéscope release! OK - it's at about 3min 20sec - looks like 'Miss Joyce'!
A "What the Stars Foretell" bookform horoscope calculator (courtesy of Alex Gleason)
Watch my 9.5mm print "What the Stars Foretell - Aquarius" 01Nov2014
Watch my 9.5mm print "What the Stars Foretell - Virgo" 02Feb2014
Notes: 1. This series was issued monthly on 9.5mm very soon after 9.5mm optical sound was introduced in the UK by Pathéscope. However although listed in the film sales catalogues up to 1941, there is no mention of these titles in later thin (numerical listing only) wartime catalogues from around 1943. Incidentally new sealed copies were still available from Meteor Films at Worcester Park (UK) at a bargain price of 15/- each through to the late 1950s or so - presumably sales had been slow and the remaining stocks were sold off.
2. A similar series of "What the Stars Foretell" was issued on the Woolworth's Eclipse 78rpm record label - hear a forecast for August 1933 on YouTube.
3. Probably the best part of each film is the exciting soundtrack music used over the credits - Mussorgy's "Night On A Bare Mountain" - it scared my kids rigid!
4. Claude Bailey was a British actor (born:19November1985,London,England - died: June1950,Ealing,England). Appeared in films including: "Little Waitress"(1932): "The Unholy Quest"(1934); "Hatter's Castle"(1942); "Yellow Canary"(1943); "He Snoops to Conquer"(1944).
5. In 1930 the Sunday Express wanted to do a story on the recent birth of Princess Margaret and approached Cheiro, the biggest name in British Astrology. He was unavailable so the job went to R.H. Naylor, one of his assistants. ("R.H." stood for Richard Harold) He made various predictions, including her health will be "fairy good", her life will be "eventful" and "events of tremendous importance to the Royal Family will come near her seventh birthday". Just before her seventh birthday, Margaret's father ascended the throne when King Edward abdicated. One prediction that Naylor famously got wrong was declaring that Hitler's astrological chart showed he was not a war-monger.
6. The Princes Margaret predictions and a forecast of a British aircraft crash just prior to the ill fated R.101 airship disaster aroused great interest and Naylor was asked to write a weekly column for the Sunday Express newspaper. This was the first of its type in any newspaper and spawned imitations in various periodicals up to the present day (see also R.H. Naylor in Wikipedia)
7. In 1938 Widgey Newman produced and directed a similar series of twelve one reelers called "What the Heavens Reveal". Again each entry covered a sign of the zodiac.
8. Later Naylor was involved with another film called "What the Stars Foretell" GB 1947 - 34 minutes Directed by Tommy Tomlinson Screenplay - Richard Fisher Photography - Stanley Clinton Pharaoh Productions : Released by Exclusive R.H. Naylor casts a horoscope for each sign of the zodiac, with illustrations of people born under each sign, showing their characteristics and reactions to life.
(Extra Info gratefully added from Maurice Trace and gln) ZT-9401/gln/01.11.2014
The 9.5mm sound feature film "Fine Feathers" GB 1937 Directed by Leslie Hiscott with Renee Houston and Donald Stewart, plus three extra 9.5mm sound shorts - "A Song A Day" (Betty Boop cartoon), "What the Stars Foretell - Aquarius" and "Bobbin About" (A 1936 Ace Cinemagazine) are now available (May2014) on one DVD at £5.95 plus 95p UK postage (UK cheques payable G.L. Newnham) from Grahame L. Newnham, 22 Warren Place, Calmore, Southampton, SO40 2SD
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Created 01Nov2014 ...... Last updated: 25 February 2017 ...... 95flmcatt9401.htm ......©MMX1V Grahame L. Newnham